The feeling of making a Premier League debut is surreal and a dream for footballers since childhood. Tyler Onyango made his Premier League debut in the 3-0 loss to Manchester City, coming on for Allan at the stroke of 90 minutes.
The 18 year old has had a fluctuating 2021. Previous manager Carlo Ancelotti put Onyango in the first team dynamics as the midfielder trained with the first team. At this point, Onyango was already an integral part of the U-23 side, in fact a key member of David Unsworth’s side.
The 6’4’’ towering figure is a package of energy and endless running. For his age, Onyango has impressive physicality and smooth ball control. When Abdoulaye Doucoure suffered a metatarsal injury, the 18 year old could have been the most like for like replacement. He has the typical box to box character and the combative nature that the fans have been accustomed to while watching Doucoure.
Rafa Benitez had insisted that he won’t rush the youngster into the team and instead preferred Fabian Delph who adds a new dimension of experience and confidence in the middle of the park. But, Onyango finally got a handful of minutes in the Premier League which he described as a dream of childhood being achieved.
Everton midfielder Tyler Onyango delighted to make the Premier League debut
A Premier League debut is what you dream about as a kid and to finally get on the pitch was class. I was made up, all through my rehab, all I was thinking about was getting back on the pitch and around the first-team. To actually do it is brilliant, better than I could have imagined. (via club’s official website)
Onyango made his Everton debut under Ancelotti, back in January, coming on as a substitute in the FA Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday. In the short five minute cameo, the midfielder caught the attention of many and was expected to fast track his progress and soon become a part of the senior team setup.
However, a mishap struck when he suffered an ankle injury at the start of April, forcing him to go under the knife and lengthen his rehabilitation process. Onyango remained out of action until October and made a comeback to the U-23 side. He’s now training regularly with the first team and continues to feature of Unsworth’s side, most recently playing the 90 minutes against Brighton U-23 team.
For an 18 year old, a lengthy recovery process after undergoing ankle surgery could seem a herculean and draining task. The whole experience can take a toll on the mindset which can further complicate the recovery process. Onyango discussed his mindset during the injury and how he coped.
I started 2021 well, I was in and around the first team but then got my injury. It was tough, a horrible time, but I worked as hard as I could. I was so happy to be where I was and make my debut [in January], I wanted to push on again.
It was a bad time to get the injury, there were a lot of injuries around the first team, so I thought I had a chance of a Premier League debut last season.But it wasn’t meant to be, so I thought, ‘I have to get my head down, work as hard as I can in the gym and put on a bit of muscle, then come back a better player’. And my opportunity against City was a result of putting in that hard work.
With the Toffees travelling to Brentford on Sunday, Onyango could once again be involved and get more minutes under his belt.
Will Tyler Onyango get his first Everton start in one of the upcoming games?